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Top gallery and museum lates in London

Many art galleries and London museums open late, with talks, performances, workshops, films, DJ sets, drinks and much more.
London National Gallery and Trafalgar Square and one of its fountains at dusk.
National Gallery at dusk. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

Find out what's open when with this guide to late-night gallery and London museum lates. You don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy a cultural night out in London – many of these evening exhibitions and events are free. 

1. Bank of England Museum

Third Thursday of every month, until 8pm
Every third Thursday of the month, the Bank of England Museum welcomes visitors until 8pm (last entry at 7:30pm). These free Lates are focused on the museum’s exhibitions, with themes ranging from bank notes to the history of the Bank of England and its connection to the rest of the world. Most Lates include special programming such as talks and tours.

2. The Courtauld Gallery

Occasional dates
Visit The Courtauld for Lates linked to its exhibitions. Featuring after-hours art, music and performances, the Lates events give you the chance to explore the gallery until 9.30pm.

3. British Library

Occasional dates
Look out for late events at the British Library every few months, usually timed to coincide with major exhibitions and themes such as theatre design and its playwrights. Make sure to check the website for upcoming events. The venue is also open until 8pm Monday to Thursday.

Collection of leather covered books at the British Library.

4. British Museum

Fridays, until 8.30pm
British Museum is one of the regular late-night museums in London, being open until 8.30pm every Friday (last entry at 7.30pm). Fill your evening by attending lectures, debates, performances and film screenings, see the large collection exhibited in the free galleries and make the most of late opening hours in the Great Court Restaurant.

Visitors wander through the glass-roofed atrium of the British Museum

5. Camden Arts Centre

Thursdays, until 9pm
Camden Arts Centre is open until 9pm every Thursday, with free talks, film screenings, workshops in the making of ceramics and live performances. And don't forget to check out the cafe and bookshop which are also open until 9pm on Thursdays.

6. Cartoon Museum

Thursdays, until 8pm
Stay behind for after-hours comic fun, as The Cartoon Museum hosts drawing and cartoon workshops. Attend regular events until closing at 8pm on Thursdays and make use of the late opening to explore the museum's permanent exhibitions, including a large collection of cartoons and comic strips.

7. Christmas at Kew

13 November to 5 January, until 10pm
Take in the festive magic as Christmas at Kew opens its doors daily between 4.20pm and 10pm during the winter season. Revel in an evening full of light installations, jolly music, Christmas treats, drinks and more. It is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance as this event is very popular at this time of the year.

Three women take a selfie among strings of green and white fairy lights at night.

8. Somerset House

Various dates
The Courtauld Gallery at the Somerset House organises late openings and various events through the year. The Edmond J. Safra Court is open to all during this summer, with performances, workshops, talks and music happening in the courtyard.

9. Cutty Sark

View from above of the Cutty Sark ship in Greenwich.

Various dates
Venture under the hull of the world's last surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark, for a series of fun after-hours events with Cutty Sark Lates. Choose from music, comedy stand-ups, dance and workshops.

10. Design Museum

First Friday of every month, until 9pm
On the first Friday of every month, the Design Museum becomes one of the many late-night museums in London, as it opens until 9pm. Take part in sketching workshops, talks, special events and explore the various exhibitions on display. It is recommended to book your tickets if you wish to visit one of the temporary exhibitions. 

11. Barbican Art Gallery

Thursdays and Fridays, until 8pm
The Barbican Art Gallery welcomes visitors until 8pm on a Thursday and Friday, with access to its major exhibitions, talks, screenings and guided tours. Make sure to check for events on its website and book your ticket in advance. The gallery hosts the second biggest conservatory in London, a tropical oasis nested in the busy capital. The admission to the conservatory is free but must be booked in advance. Tickets are released one week in advance.

12. Frameless

Dark gallery room with digital art on walls and people crowded round DJ booth.
Frameless Lates. Image courtesy of Frameless.
Fridays and Saturdays, until 10pm
Discover immersive after-hours sessions every Friday and Saturday night, as Frameless showcases its four permanent galleries until 10pm. Enjoy a specially curated sound track from Soho Radio and explore the galleries with a drink in hand from the Café Bar.

13. London Mithraeum

Occasional dates
Delve into Roman history at the historic London Mithraeum. Explore artefacts that were discovered in the 1950s at this fascinating museum, which occasionally hosts late events until 8pm.

14. London Transport Museum

Various Fridays
Explore the London Transport Museum after hours at one of its Friday late openings. Take a sneak peak of the newest exhibitions and enjoy drinks, talks and events until 10pm. Each event runs on a selected theme explored through one of the exhibition the museum is hosting. You will be able to enjoy a drink at the bar while participating to the evening activities led by one of the museum's experts.

Two red and one green bus on display at London Transport Museum.

15. Hayward Gallery

Occasional dates
Head to the South Bank for contemporary art exhibitions by international boundary-pushing artists, alongside talks and installations. Visit the Hayward Gallery on Saturdays for late opening until 8pm.

16. Serpentine Pavilion

Various dates
Park Nights at the Serpentine Pavilion are back for another year with a series of performances on several evenings from June until October. These performances offer a unique way to explore several topics such as art, music, film, literature among other fields. 

17. National Gallery

Fridays, until 9pm
Explore the National Gallery, which is open until 9pm on Fridays, with guided tours, talks, events and live music, plus late opening hours in the bar and the National Cafe.

A person wearing a mask admires a wall filled with paintings at the National Gallery.

18. Natural History Museum

Various dates
Explore the Natural History Museum after dark during late openings on select dates. Browse the collections, see demos and visit special exhibitions. Enjoy a sleepover to fall asleep under the giant blue whale. Or, if you fancy making waves on the Natural History Museum's dance floor, party the night away in the spectacular Hintze Hall at a Silent Disco experience.

19. Queen's House Greenwich

Occasional dates
Don't miss ad hoc lates events at Queen's House in Greenwich, as the grand 17th-century house explores stories behind its art collection and hosts special evenings.

20. Royal Observatory Greenwich

People stand astride the Meridian Line outside the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Occasional dates
Watch one of Royal Observatory Greenwich's monthly film screenings, Silver Screen Science Fiction, with showings from 6pm to 9pm where you can rediscover cult classics; or look out for other lates events, including star gazing specials.

21. Saatchi Gallery

Occasional dates 
Visit the Saatchi Gallery for lates linked to its exhibitions which run until 9pm. The museum has a great reputation for hosting works from emerging and contemporary artists who have gone on to become houshold names. 

22. Science Museum

Various dates
Don’t miss the chance to take over the Science Museum for a night of science-themed fun. Join other adults to enjoy more than 50 interactive exhibits, as part of Science Museum Lates, which run until 10pm.

23. Sir John Soane's Museum

Once a month, until 8pm
Explore the maze-like passages of Sir John Soane's Museum, atmospherically lit by candles, on a themed late opening every month. Closing at 8pm, soak up the atmosphere of the museum after dark while your guide reveals the mysteries and secrets the museum retains. 

24. Tate Britain

Occasional dates
Featuring live music and workshops, Late at Tate Britain gives you the chance to explore the galleries until 9.30pm. Tate Lates nights are curated by Tate Collective Producers, 15 to 25 year-olds who create events and workshops for young people.

A man walks up a set of white stairs of the Tate Britain

25. Tate Modern

Last Friday of every month, until 10pm 
Tate Modern exhibitions are open on the last Friday of every month until 10pm, and you can enjoy drinks and a selection of street food on the Terrace Bar plus a range of activities. Enjoy exclusive DJ sets, talks, screenings and workshops with Uniqlo Tate Lates on the last Friday of every month (except December). 

The steel Millennium Bridge in the foreground leading over the Thames river to red-brick Tate Modern against a blue sky 

26. Victoria and Albert Museum

One Friday every month, until 10pm
Selected galleries at the V&A are open until 10pm every Friday. Once a month there are themed Friday Late events which feature talks, arty activities and installations celebrating contemporary artists and visual culture. 

27. Wellcome Collection

Various Thursdays
Marvel at the Wellcome Collection galleries, which are open until 8pm on Thursdays, with late events hosting fascinating sessions exploring the Museum's science, medicine, life and art exhibitions.

28. Whitechapel Gallery

Thursdays, until 9pm
On Thursdays, the Whitechapel Gallery is open until 9pm and welcomes visitors to check out evening talks and see the Gallery's exhibitions for free. While the Townsend, the Gallery's modern British dining room and cafe closes its doors at 11pm.

Find more cultural inspiration with current and upcoming art and exhibitions in London, including top museum exhibitions and the latest blockbuster art exhibitions. If you're looking for more things to do at night in London, tick off these 101 night-time activities or plan a cheap night out

Make sure to download the Visit London app for on-the-go tips, and check out our guide to events each weekend.